Northwoods Woman Hopes to Win Big with Cheesy Garlic Bread Chips

By: Kristen Guilfoos Email
By: Kristen Guilfoos Email

You've seen the commercials featuring new limited-edition chips from Frito-Lay, asking people all across the country to pick their favorite.

Now it's time to meet one of the finalists, who happens to be from right here in the Northwoods. Her name is Karen Weber-Mendham.

"I have three kids so my husband and I take them out to eat. They always want an appetizer and we say no because then they're not gonna finish their dinner. If we go to an Italian restaurant, you know, they always suggest the garlic bread and by that time you cave because you're hungry too and by that time your children are thinking they're dying of starvation. You can smell it. You can smell it in the restaurant. So why not chips?"

And so the idea for Cheesy Garlic Bread chips was born.

After a lot of begging and pleading from her son, Karen entered the "Lay's Do Us A Flavor" chip contest.

A few weeks later, she got a phone call at work saying out of the 3-point-8 million entries, Cheesy Garlic Bread made the top three.

Weber-Mendham says, "I think that the person from lays who called me was a little disappointed because I didn't freak out and scream. I now know how I respond to complete shock. I just totally shut down. I kept saying okay. Tell me again."

Once she had time to process the fact she won $50,000just for being a finalist, and could get $1 million if she wins the entire contest, then the excitement set in.

"I literally jumped up and down on the bed, screaming and waving my arms for like 10 minutes. Too bad we don't have that on video."

We wanted to taste these award-winning chips for ourselves, all in the name of research of course.

Turns out though... It's easier said than done.

We drove all over the city, stopping at 5 different grocery stores turning up empty handed everytime, until store number six at Quality Foods IGA in Rib Mountain.

We finally had success, sort of. We could only find the small, snack-size. The big bags were sold out, and we're not the only ones who had trouble tracking them down.

Karen says, "They just go too fast. I can't catch them. I've never seen them in a store."

In fact, the only bags she's ever seen are the ones lays sent her.

Before we let Karen get back to her busy life as a working mom, we posed the million dollar question, literally. If she wins, what's she going to do with all that money?
Her answer: "College. I've got three kids so that's my top priority. I'm too middle class to go really crazy. You know, I might get a new used car. And shoes. Yeah. So Kohl's, look out."

Her name may be on the chip bag, but this potential future-millionaire definitely does not have a chip on her shoulder.

Karen needs your help to win the $1 million dollars!

You can vote three times a day until May 4th.

Cast your vote on the Lay's Facebook Page, by using the Twitter hashtag #SaveGarlicBread text "vote" to 24477.